The College Board is implementing some changes and new resources for Advanced Placement (AP) courses! These changes and resources are to provide better support throughout the school year, and to give students the best opportunity to succeed on AP exams. For more information on these changes, click here.
Beginning August 1 2019, AP teachers and students will have access to a variety of new online classroom resources.
AP teachers and students will complete a short digital activation at the start of the year. Students and teachers will then have access to new online classroom resources!
Schools will need to order AP exams by new deadlines in October and November. The College Board hopes that once students commit to the exam, they will more readily invest themselves in their classes.
Classroom resources such as AP question banks, a performance dashboard, and unit guides will be available online.
What will stay the same:
Exams administration during the first two full
weeks in May
Exam fee and exam fee reduction
Scores will be reported on usual timelines
Follow us on Twitter @belinblankIOAPA to stay updated on all Iowa Online AP Academy and AP news!
The Belin-Blank Center is pleased to announce the availability of scholarships to pay for the cost of Advanced Placement exams for low-income students in rural schools who are currently participating in IOAPA courses.
IOAPA principals, site coordinators, and mentors: make sure to apply for this funding opportunity by February 15th! For more information and for access to the application, click here.
The purpose of this funding is to increase the number of students taking AP exams from rural schools in Iowa. If schools are already paying for AP exams, they should not request this funding. Funding is only available for students who are taking or have taken an IOAPA Advanced Placement (AP) course in the 2018-19 school year.
The per-exam cost for the 2018-19 school year is $53 for students eligible for free/reduced cost lunch. Schools should pay the $53 per student to the College Board. Schools should submit an invoice to the Belin-Blank Center after students have taken the AP exams along with documentation showing they have paid the College Board for these students’ exams. There will be no reimbursement if a student does not take the exam.
Awards will be announced by March 1, 2019.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
With the frigid cold and many snow days, it may be difficult to think about this fall. However, right NOW is a great time set up above level testing with I-Excel. Your students’ above-level testing scores are needed to inform eligibility for fall 2019 IOAPA courses.
There are four basic steps for participation
Find the students who are ready for additional
challenge; these are the students who will be recommended for participation in
BESTS. Typically, students who have earned scores at or above the 90th percentile on grade-level standardized tests,
such as the Iowa Assessments, are strong
candidates for above-level testing.
Notify the students identified in Step 2 and their
families about the opportunity to participate in BESTS.
soon as possible to set up testing. Note that if you have 7th-9th grade
students in need of above-level testing, they will be taking the ACT, and there
are specific deadlines for registration; visit belinblank.org/talent-search for
specific information. I-Excel testing sessions for current 4th-6th graders
are more flexible to schedule, but it’s still important to reach out soon to
ensure that the process can be completed in time for your desired test date(s).
Inform students and parents about test results and
the recommended course of action following testing.
We want to help you keep on track for 2019! Here are all of the important dates and deadlines related to IOAPA and AP courses for the spring semester.
January 25, 2019: Last day to dropIOAPA courses without being assessed a $350 drop fee. (Note: Per the IOAPA drop policy, these fees are waived for students in middle school and computer science courses.)
January 31, 2019: Deadline for submission of AP Course Audit materials for new courses (i.e., courses that have not been offered by your school prior to 2018-2019).
February 22, 2019: Deadline for submitting testing accommodations requests for students with disabilities who plan to take AP Exams. See our post about the changes to this process that took effect in January 2017.
March 13, 2019: Deadline for pre-administration materials for AP Computer Science Principles.
March 29, 2019: Deadline to order 2019 AP Exams.
April 30, 2019: Deadline for submitting Performance Tasks for AP Computer Science Principles students.
May 10, 2019: IOAPA spring courses end.
May 6-17, 2019: AP Exams are administered. A complete schedule of exam dates is available on the College Board website.
Ordering AP Exams
Students (generally with advice from teachers, parents, school counselors, or other school personnel) are responsible for deciding whether to take AP Exam(s) for the courses in which they enrolled. Schools are responsible for ordering those exams from the College Board for all students who indicate intent to complete exams. More information about specific procedures for ordering exams is available from the College Board.
Different states and schools handle exam fees differently. In general, for 2019 exams most students will pay the school $94 per exam. The College Board offers reduced-fee exams for students with financial need; these students generally pay the school $53 per exam. Further information can be found on the College Board website.
The Belin Blank Center is pleased to announce that we are offering a new funding opportunity to pay for the cost of AP exams for low-income students in rural schools. Stay tuned for more information, coming soon!
Follow IOAPA on Twitter @belinblankIOAPA for reminders about deadlines, as well as other useful information to support mentors and students.
Start the New Year off right by planning your summer professional development! Make sure to save the date for the 2019 AP Teacher Training Institute (APTTI). This will take place at the University of Iowa campus on June 25-28, 2019. Registration is now open! We will be offering workshops for AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Chemistry, AP English Literature & Composition, AP Physics I, and AP US History.
APTTI is a College Board-approved AP Summer Institute (APSI). AP Summer Institutes provide subject-specific training for teachers who are interested in teaching an AP course. Summer Institutes can also benefit current teachers already teaching AP courses to develop their skills, or gain familiarity with the course. Teachers who attended our previous institutes shared some of their valued experiences:
It gave me a framework for how to structure my course, wording for my syllabus for the College Board, and very valuable information to prepare my students for the AP exam.
Not only did I gain more resources to further my instruction, but I also learned many strategies for implementing these materials. I had the opportunity to learn from an instructor who was vastly knowledgeable and taught us as if we were students…so we could better understand how to teach our own students. This knowledge was immensely valuable!
I feel like this program has a direct impact on high school students…I am more confident in the material and the course/text structure, and my experience as an AP teacher has been much more successful than it would have been without an APTTI.
It was a wonderful course that prepared me to teach AP. The instructor modeled an AP class for us, so we not only left with content knowledge, but methodology knowledge as well. These methods can extend beyond just our AP classes and into our general classes as well.
We want to inform you of scholarships funded by the College Board that support teachers in attending an APSI. Applications for these scholarships are due Tuesday, February 12th, 2019. Scholarships offered by the College Board are listed below, and you can find more information about these scholarships and the application process here.
AP Fellows Program: For teachers at schools serving minority or low-income students
Scholarship Amount: $1,000 – for cost of tuition and lab fees (when applicable)
AP Rural Fellows Program: For teachers at rural schools
Scholarship Amount: $1,500 – for cost of tuition and lab fees (when applicable)
The Iowa Online AP Academy (IOAPA) also offers the AP Institution Grant, a grant to support Iowateachers in attending APTTI. (Participation in IOAPA not required.) This grant will cover $450 (more than 80%) of the $550 registration fee. Click here to learn more and click here to access the grant application. This application is due June 1st, 2019.
Don’t miss the chance to apply for these great scholarships, especially since deadlines for some are approaching quickly! If you’re considering attending an AP Summer Institute and/or our AP Teacher Training Institute, apply today!
The end of the semester can be a busy time for both students and teachers! Here are some quick tips for how to continue to support your IOAPA students through December and in future semesters.
Check in frequently. Even if students don’t need anything immediately, knowing that the resource is there and available can be reassuring. The University of Minnesota’s mentor guidelines note that by checking in frequently, the mentor builds trust with their mentee and can identify areas of concern more quickly because the relationship is established.
Connect students with AP resources. As mentors, you are not expected to provide all the answers to students, but knowing where they can go for additional support or helping them communicate with their instructor can be hugely beneficial. More suggestions for how to help students when they are struggling can be found here.
Familiarize yourself with College Board offerings. The College Board administers the AP program and has a wealth of resources: helping students succeed in classes, learning how college credit might be applied, and preparing for exams in the spring. Visit their website.
Provide feedback in a meaningful way. When students receive helpful and appropriate feedback, it can facilitate their learning. For instance, feedback should be informative and educational, given in a timely manner, specific, and genuine. Check out more helpful tips for giving effective feedback to students here.
Check in with other mentors about their strategies for student support. The IOAPA mentor support network (more information can be found in the IOAPA Mentor Handbook) is a great way for new and veteran mentors to connect and provide suggestions to each other. Other mentors who have experienced Iowa Online AP Academy courses can be great resources for how to talk to students and provide them with support! Email us at email@example.com if you would like to be put in contact with an experienced mentor.
Encourage a practice of breaks and relaxation. Everyone sometimes needs a reminder to take breaks and prioritize what is important, and students are no different. There are lots of different ways that mentors can creatively promote stress management and healthy habits. For students, this listcan be a good place to start.
If you can believe it, we are nearing the end of the semester! Students may feel pressure from upcoming or past due assignments, projects and tests for their IOAPA courses. Helping students to recognize and manage their stress is an important skill that will continue to help them in their education path and future career.
Identifying stressed students is important, particularly because in 2013, teens reported their stress level to be higher than levels reported by adults. Students’ stress often looks different from a typical adult’s stress.The American Psychological Association (APA)released an article to help adults identify signs of stress in children and teenagers. Some helpful tips to identify their stress include:
Watch for negative changes in behavior, as adolescents may have a difficult time recognizing when they are experiencing stress and verbalizing it .Understand that “feeling sick” may be caused by stress, because stress can appear as physical symptoms such as stomachaches and headaches.Be aware of how your child or teen interacts with others, as children may act out in other settings when they do not feel like themselves. Therefore, communicating with teachers or parents can provide a better understanding and more context of your child’s interactions.Listento what the student is saying, as increased negative self-talk may be a sign of stress, and alwaysseek additional support if necessary.
In 2013, teens reported increased stress when they did not get enough sleep. Further, 20% of teens reported exercisinglessthan once a week or not at all, and 39% reported skipping a meal due to stress. Parents and teachers can model healthy coping strategies to manage stress, and encourage students to exercise, eat well, and sleep!